It’s all Cyclical

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Elizabeth pointed out a NYT article to me about employers checking myspace and facebook pages on job applicants that I thought was interesting and a bit odd.
It strikes me as strange because this has all be done before… It sort of happens in waves over the years as more people get online. A lot of this has happened back in the 1990s when people were first starting to build their own web pages; geeks went overboard posting edgy stuff, and tech employers went overboard freaking out about it. Eventually tech companies realized they were overreaching themselves by telling people what to put on their personal sites, and the employees learned where the “too far” line was, and they met somewhere in the middle.
Now it’s happening as non-geeks have ways to create their own pages online in myspace or in blogs — they post questionable stuff, and their non-tech employers freak out. The furor over people’s blogs and myspace pages will correct itself over time.
You know how whenever someone new gets on the internet, they start forwarding all the goofy neiman marcus cookie recipes and chain letters until they realize how silly that is? Then their mom gets e-mail four years later, and does the same thing. Then four years later, grandma does it.
It all goes in cycles.

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Blogs are a viable form of writing

The Financial Times has an article criticizing the “blogging” phenomenon, which is one of many that have been written in the mainstream press in the last 6 months.
This whole “anti-blogging” movement generated by the mainstream press strikes me as really pretentious and absurd on the part of “journalists.” People have been recording their thoughts and sharing them with the people around them as long as humans have been able to write; just because we have software that makes it easy doesn’t make this a new thing. It used to be a huge social thing to write letters to everyone; people did it religiously and prolifically. People wrote books and self-published them — the giant publishing companies we have today are a more modern phenomenon. Stephanie’s grandmother used to make her own christmas cards and send them out; they were clever and graphically oriented and if she had been my age, should would have been designing a website instead. Stephanie’s mother used to type up short stories and writing with a circle of people, photo-copy it and send it around in an early prototype ‘zine.
People have always been “blogging” — this is just a new name for an old behavior. And the critique that most blogs are “ignored” is silly, too. People are writing for the most part for their family and friends and own entertainment, and they are accomplishing exactly that goal. There’s no failure in that.

Continue ReadingBlogs are a viable form of writing